The lights for Valve's Steam Greenlight program have now been shut, paving the way for a new, purportedly much easier way to publish games on the platform, called Steam Direct.
Valve Kills Steam Greenlight
The previous program, which spurred game developers to accrue upvotes — or "likes," in a more common internet vernacular — for their projects, and this often made for some intrusive, overzealous, if not shoddy, encouragement. It, too, in turn, flooded Steam's library with shovelware, or mediocre software. The arrival of Steam Direct may change that, or at least lessen it.
The newer program requires game developers to fill out applications and pay a recoupable fee to have their games published on Steam. Valve, this time, will make sure that the games are actually games, Forbes reports, although the vetting process doesn't appear more complex than that alone.
Steam Direct Fee Requirement
At least with the fee, which is designed to weed out the duds from the promising ones, more able and serious developers can come to the forefront. Valve, however, doesn't seem to have settled on the exact price yet as of this time. The company is still trying to enlist the community's feedback in its decision. It's trying to find the right balance, hovering between a relatively inexpensive range (possibly $100 per game), to something slightly more unattainable ($5,000).
"While we have invested heavily in our content pipeline and personalized store, we're still debating the publishing fee for Steam Direct," the company wrote in a blog post. "There are pros and cons at either end of the spectrum, so we'd like to gather more feedback before settling on a number."
Steam Greenlight Wasn't All Bad
Although Steam Greenlight is an oft-septic environment bogged down by an erring upvote system, it has had its more optimistic moments, in which aspiring game developers successfully brought worthy, well-made games onto the platform. Valve says that 100 games made over $1 million through Greenlight, a figure it would likely not have enjoyed had it not been for the Greenlight system. All told, it wasn't singlehandedly atrocious all consequences considered; progress and results were made, despite.
The new program, Direct, is designed to "decrease the noise in the submission pipeline," according to Steam. Perhaps the financial requirement will thwart developers from coming up with shovelware, which is the ideal upshot. Conversely, if the fee ends up being too high, developers with very promising ideas for games but are cash-strapped could be blocked from entering the platform because of monetary constraints, which can be a potential problem.
Will Steam Direct Be Better Than The Previous System?
Whether Direct becomes what Greenlight should have been is still to be contested, and it remains to be seen. It could very well end up letting more shovelware in, this time just without the noxious community voting component.
Valve says it wants to make Steam a welcoming environment for all developers who intend to treat their customers seriously and fairly, alongside those who are committed to making high-quality titles and gaming experiences.
"Steam Direct represents just one more step in our ongoing process of making Steam better."
Thoughts about Valve's replacement for Steam Greenlight? In your opinion, how will this impact developers wanting to get their titles onto the Steam platform? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!